NEATH residents have been left worried after receiving letters from Welsh Water informing them of likely disruption while sewer investigations are carried out.
Several homeowners in Cimla have been told that the utilities company may need access to some gardens and driveways when carrying out surveying work.
For the past 20 years the residents have had to fork out thousands of pounds for repairs on the sewerage system.
Their nightmare ended in 2011 when the sewers were adopted by Welsh Water.
Cimla councillor John Warman said Welsh Water was now looking to replace the pipes and bring them up to standard.
"They have sent some letters out to people in Falcon Drive, Wren Avenue, Osprey Drive and Ridgewood Gardens," he said. "There is a bit of concern from local people about what work is going to be done in their gardens. The letter is a formal notice of entry and there is a lot of legal terminology, so people are a bit worried."
Mr Warman said he had spoken to Welsh Water, which had said it would keep residents informed of what access was required.
"We want a meeting with them before any work is carried out," he said. "I would like them to call to every house and discuss it with them."
"I have asked them for a meeting with the two ward councillors. People would like to know about if they have to work in their gardens."
Welsh Water's Teresa O'Neil said their job was to give their customers the best quality water and sewerage services.
"Previous investigations indicated that the sewers in Cimla need replacing to reduce blockages in the system," she said. "To determine how we carry out this work, our contractors will need to undertake further investigations such as opening up manhole covers to measure pipe sizes and depths.
"The surveying work involved will be non-intrusive and will not cause any damage to the properties of residents.
"The majority of residents should not be directly affected by the work. However, we may require access to some residents' gardens, driveways or outside areas to carry out the surveying work.
"Those residents who will be directly affected will soon receive notification and further information from our estates team if they have not been contacted already."
Ms O'Neil said they were very grateful for the co-operation from residents.
She added: "The work will benefit the community for years to come by addressing the ongoing problems with the existing system.
"We have liaised with Councillor John Warman and will continue to keep him and local residents informed throughout each stage of the project. As with any visits by Welsh Water staff or contractors, we encourage customers to confirm the identity of any caller to their property."